Monday, January 05, 2004
Abraham and Sarah: Genesis 15:1-17:27
The LORDs Covenant with Abram
1Afterward the LORD spoke to Abram in a vision and said to him, "Do not be afraid, Abram, for I will protect you, and your reward will be great."
2But Abram replied, "O Sovereign LORD, what good are all your blessings when I don't even have a son? Since I don't have a son, Eliezer of Damascus, a servant in my household, will inherit all my wealth. 3You have given me no children, so one of my servants will have to be my heir."
4Then the LORD said to him, "No, your servant will not be your heir, for you will have a son of your own to inherit everything I am giving you." 5Then the LORD brought Abram outside beneath the night sky and told him, "Look up into the heavens and count the stars if you can. Your descendants will be like that--too many to count!" 6And Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD declared him righteous because of his faith. 7Then the LORD told him, "I am the LORD who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land."
8But Abram replied, "O Sovereign LORD, how can I be sure that you will give it to me?"
9Then the LORD told him, "Bring me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon." 10Abram took all these and killed them. He cut each one down the middle and laid the halves side by side. He did not, however, divide the birds in half. 11Some vultures came down to eat the carcasses, but Abram chased them away. 12That evening, as the sun was going down, Abram fell into a deep sleep. He saw a terrifying vision of darkness and horror.
13Then the LORD told Abram, "You can be sure that your descendants will be strangers in a foreign land, and they will be oppressed as slaves for four hundred years. 14But I will punish the nation that enslaves them, and in the end they will come away with great wealth. 15(But you will die in peace, at a ripe old age.) 16After four generations your descendants will return here to this land, when the sin of the Amorites has run its course."
17As the sun went down and it became dark, Abram saw a smoking firepot and a flaming torch pass between the halves of the carcasses. 18So the LORD made a covenant with Abram that day and said, "I have given this land to your descendants, all the way from the border of Egypt[a] to the great Euphrates River-- 19the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, and Jebusites."
Genesis 15:18 Hebrew the river of Egypt, referring either to an eastern branch of the Nile River or to the brook of Egypt in the Sinai (see Num 34:5).
The Birth of Ishmael
1But Sarai, Abram's wife, had no children. So Sarai took her servant, an Egyptian woman named Hagar, 2and gave her to Abram so she could bear his children. "The LORD has kept me from having any children," Sarai said to Abram. "Go and sleep with my servant. Perhaps I can have children through her." And Abram agreed. 3So Sarai, Abram's wife, took Hagar the Egyptian servant and gave her to Abram as a wife. (This happened ten years after Abram first arrived in the land of Canaan.)
4So Abram slept with Hagar, and she became pregnant. When Hagar knew she was pregnant, she began to treat her mistress Sarai with contempt. 5Then Sarai said to Abram, "It's all your fault! Now this servant of mine is pregnant, and she despises me, though I myself gave her the privilege of sleeping with you. The LORD will make you pay for doing this to me![a]"
6Abram replied, "Since she is your servant, you may deal with her as you see fit." So Sarai treated her harshly, and Hagar ran away.
7The angel of the LORD found Hagar beside a desert spring along the road to Shur. 8The angel said to her, "Hagar, Sarai's servant, where have you come from, and where are you going?"
"I am running away from my mistress," she replied.
9Then the angel of the LORD said, "Return to your mistress and submit to her authority." 10The angel added, "I will give you more descendants than you can count." 11And the angel also said, "You are now pregnant and will give birth to a son. You are to name him Ishmael,[b] for the LORD has heard about your misery. 12This son of yours will be a wild one--free and untamed as a wild donkey! He will be against everyone, and everyone will be against him. Yes, he will live at odds with the rest of his brothers."
13Thereafter, Hagar referred to the LORD, who had spoken to her, as "the God who sees me,"[c] for she said, "I have seen the One who sees me!" 14Later that well was named Beer-lahairoi,[d] and it can still be found between Kadesh and Bered.
15So Hagar gave Abram a son, and Abram named him Ishmael. 16Abram was eighty-six years old at that time.
Genesis 16:5 Hebrew Let the LORD judge between you and me.
Genesis 16:11 Ishmael means "God hears."
Genesis 16:13 Hebrew El-roi.
Genesis 16:14 Beer-lahairoi means "well of the Living One who sees me."
Abram Is Named Abraham
1When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, "I am God Almighty; serve me faithfully and live a blameless life. 2I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to make you into a mighty nation." 3At this, Abram fell face down in the dust. Then God said to him, 4"This is my covenant with you: I will make you the father of not just one nation, but a multitude of nations! 5What's more, I am changing your name. It will no longer be Abram; now you will be known as Abraham,[a] for you will be the father of many nations. 6I will give you millions of descendants who will represent many nations. Kings will be among them!
7"I will continue this everlasting covenant between us, generation after generation. It will continue between me and your offspring[b] forever. And I will always be your God and the God of your descendants after you. 8Yes, I will give all this land of Canaan to you and to your offspring forever. And I will be their God.
The Sign of Circumcision
9"Your part of the agreement," God told Abraham, "is to obey the terms of the covenant. You and all your descendants have this continual responsibility. 10This is the covenant that you and your descendants must keep: Each male among you must be circumcised; 11the flesh of his foreskin must be cut off. This will be a sign that you and they have accepted this covenant. 12Every male child must be circumcised on the eighth day after his birth. This applies not only to members of your family, but also to the servants born in your household and the foreign-born servants whom you have purchased. 13All must be circumcised. Your bodies will thus bear the mark of my everlasting covenant. 14Anyone who refuses to be circumcised will be cut off from the covenant family for violating the covenant."
Sarai Is Named Sarah
15Then God added, "Regarding Sarai, your wife--her name will no longer be Sarai; from now on you will call her Sarah.[c] 16And I will bless her and give you a son from her! Yes, I will bless her richly, and she will become the mother of many nations. Kings will be among her descendants!"
17Then Abraham bowed down to the ground, but he laughed to himself in disbelief. "How could I become a father at the age of one hundred?" he wondered. "Besides, Sarah is ninety; how could she have a baby?" 18And Abraham said to God, "Yes, may Ishmael enjoy your special blessing!"
19But God replied, "Sarah, your wife, will bear you a son. You will name him Isaac,[d] and I will confirm my everlasting covenant with him and his descendants. 20As for Ishmael, I will bless him also, just as you have asked. I will cause him to multiply and become a great nation. Twelve princes will be among his descendants. 21But my covenant is with Isaac, who will be born to you and Sarah about this time next year."
22That ended the conversation, and God left Abraham. 23On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and every other male in his household and circumcised them, cutting off their foreskins, exactly as God had told him. 24Abraham was ninety-nine years old at that time, 25and Ishmael his son was thirteen. 26Both were circumcised the same day, 27along with all the other men and boys of the household, whether they were born there or bought as servants.
Genesis 17:5 Abram means "exalted father"; Abraham means "father of many."
Genesis 17:7 Hebrew seed; also in 17:8.
Genesis 17:15 Sarah means "princess."
Genesis 17:19 Isaac means "he laughs."
Posted by lmurx at 1:15 PM